Today is the yearly commemoration of World AIDS Day. This is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV, and remember those who have died from an HIV-related illness. Hispanics make up approximately 18% of the U.S. population. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they also still account for nearly 23% of the estimated 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States.
“It was 39-years ago, in 1981, when most Americans became aware of HIV/AIDS for the first time in the United States,” says Sindy Benavides, LULAC National Chief Executive Officer. “Since then, we have lost more than 700,000 loved ones to this virus. In 2020, LULAC recognizes the importance in re-committing ourselves as a nation to eradicate this epidemic and dissolve the stigma on HIV/AIDS fed by fear and myths. On this World AIDS Day, Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs should empower our communities through education, awareness and resources while embracing those who have passed and are affected by HIV/AIDS.”
Today, let us remember the lives lost to AIDS and continue to support those who have been positively diagnosed. LULAC recognizes the importance of raising awareness on the effect this epidemic has on the Hispanic community, as we are the second most impacted population in the United States. Remembering the hardships that come with a diagnosis, we continue to uplift Raul’s story on this global health day that has changed the lives of many of our brothers and sisters. Raul mentioned how, “as a heterosexual male, I never thought I would end up living with HIV. It has no boundaries and can become a reality for many people; which is why I decided to open up about my story.” Raul found a reason to continue fighting for a long and healthy life, you can too! To read more about Raul’s story, click HERE.
On World AIDS Day, you can get tested for free in your local community wherever you live in the United States. These details can be found on LULAC’s dedicated HIV awareness page at LULAC.org/salud along with additional educational resources and information on HIV/AIDS in the Hispanic community.
To find a local testing site near you or to learn more about HIV, please visit LULAC.org/salud.